Kobe Bryant landed in Shenzhen this past weekend to help out in his role as FIBA ambassador, by sorting qualified teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania into groups for the upcoming 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
He was joined by Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming, while popstar Jason DeRulo also took to the stage for fans at Shenzhen Bay Sports Center on Saturday, March 16.
Bryant is known for being the third-highest scorer in NBA history, behind only ex-Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone and Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Since retiring in 2016, Bryant has had a hand in a variety of different ventures, including making an animated short about basketball that went on to win an Academy Award. Despite the fact that Bryant has largely been out of the public eye for the past few years, his arrival in Shenzhen was greeted with much excitement by local basketball fans.
While we heard rumors that ‘The Kobster’ spent an evening drinking whiskey in one well-known cocktail bar in Futian District, the future Hall of Famer was also spotted at various places around the city over the weekend.
The 6-foot, 6-inch Bryant is dwarfed by seemingly grumpy man mountain Yao Ming. Image via @KobeBryant/Weibo
Kobe visited Taizi Wan Middle School in Shenzhen to talk about his new young adult sports novel series, The Wizenard Series: Training Camp. Screengrab via @环球时报-英文版/Weibo
Kobe walking out the entrance to what looks eerily similar to a well-known, ritzy hotel in town. Screengrab via @Gorfu/Weibo
The fans can’t get enough of Kobe. Image via @中国篮球/Weibo
Selfie time! Image via @中国篮球/Weibo
Who wants to take on Kobe? Image via @中国篮球/Weibo
With the basketball legend still hanging around Shenzhen, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse. Let us know if you have any Kobe sightings in Shenzhen in the comments below!
[Cover image via @Zds_RIP/Weibo]